tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC October 6, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT
this morning, my letter to george. there is no fear of firing a black president. plus, the state by state takedown of voter suppression tactics. and the most important year of schooling, third grade. but first, the 7.8% october surprise. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. sometimes the week is just one day too long, to keep ahold of the news cycle that is. at least for governor mitt romney, debate and what debate? oh, right. wednesday. the first presidential debate. we got a rigorous macro economic lesson that day.
but by the end of the week, the only number that mattered was 7.8. that's because the unemployment rate released yesterday is the lowest since 2009. the bureau of labor statistics announced fresh revisions for the summer jobs numbers. in fact, july and august saw a combined increase of 86,000 more jobs than were originally reported. and the household survey showed is an exceptionally strong month with 873,000 more employed americans last month than in july. president obama was back on the trail yesterday trying to temper his enthusiasm. >> today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. it's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. >> mr. romney, of course, saw it a little differently.
>> the reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work. >> good try but actually this month, the rate fell because americans were finding work, not because they were dropping out of the labor force. he was right about one thing. >> the american people have a choice. i think in both men we have individuals who cared very deeply about our country and care about the people of america. but we would lead america in very different ways. >> well, that choice was crystal clear on debate night. now, liberal pundits grumbled and groaned over the president' decidedly underwhelming performance behind the podium. let's be honest, i was one of them. i could not believe the president left so many easy opportunities for jabs pass him by. defund big bird? granted the president returned all the jabs the next day. >> when i got on to the stage, i
met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be mitt romney. but it couldn't have been mitt romney, because the real mitt romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. the fellow on stage last night said he didn't know anything about that. >> okay. that was good but it's a little bit like sending an e-mail to your opponent in a game of dozens a day after. everyone has left the playground. you have to get in your licks while there are more than 70 million viewers watching. it was frustrating to see president obama miss repeated opportunities to correct factual inaccuracies spouted by romney. president obama, for example, did not add almost as much to the federal debt as all the prior presidents combined. and when mr. romney suggested that half of the green energy
companies given stimulus funds had failed, that's only true in 3 is half of about 30. there was that sense also, that the president just didn't really want to be there. it was hard to get a fierce sense of urgency from the president on wednesday night. yes, it did look bad. all the rope-a-dope wednesday morning metaphors couldn't have changed how bad it looked. there is one thing you could say about the first debate, its with a good old-fashioned policy debate, one that had each candidate offering complications recitations of policy and policy consequences. >> i'm concerned the path we're on has been unsuccessful. the president has a view, similar to the view he had when he ran four years ago, a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more, if you will, trickle-down government would work. that's not the right answer for america. >> the approach that governor romney is talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003.
and we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years. we ended up moving from surplus to deficits. and it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the great depression. >> i suppose mr. romney thought the president wouldn't recognize the term trickle-down if he twisted it around. romney is proposing boilerplate trickle-down economics providing tax relief for businesses with the false hope that they won pocket that money but rather put it into new jobs. help the rich get richer and then they'll help everyone else. but hey, mr. romney's plan as stated in the debate may in fact sound right to you. but don't call it new. it's a been there, done that track record. lower taxes on the rich, simply don't lead to job growth. when you compare the top marginal income tax rate, the tax rate that top earners get taxed over the highest threshold with employment, growth happens when taxes are higher, not
lower. let me show you a chart that the president could have used this week to simplify the whole debate. this is what the election boils down to right here. larry bartels' chart makes it clear, under democratic presidents, everyone does better, even the very top. talk about trickle-down big government but more importantly, americans are ready to move on, even before the good news job numbers were released, an nbc/"wall street journal" survey showed that 44% of americans believe the economy will improve in the next year and four in ten say the country is headed in the right direction, the highest percentage on this question since june of 2009. here with me is cnbc contributor, dan dicker, a 25-year trading veteran of the new york mercantile exchange, civil right attorney mya wiley. attorney raul ruiz and a contributor to "the nation"
magazine. thank you for being here. let me ask a question, does 7.8% wipe away wednesday night's performance? is that news story over? >> the debates will have the big impact some are predicting. there's post-debate, you know, euphoria for romney supporters and probably a little bit too much concern for obama supporters. the reality is those numbers help obama tremendously. at the same time, obama has the opportunity now to come back and do what he did the very next day. i think that was a key day for him. >> if he had that sort of debate performance and then we'd gotten job numbers that had us stuck at 8.2, then you start talking about a crisis at that point for the campaign. >> we have a chance to make it a much bigger story, precisely because the republicans have been so nice to us and delivered, for example, jack welch. the numbers were entirely fixed. he's been chimed in this morning by steve forbes, also said these have been fixed numbers. they intended for them to go
down precisely under 8% before the election started. this is some crazy stuff going on on the right here. that might generate enough interest to make the debate -- >> i just want to -- just in case anyone has been sleeping under a rock on friday or something. i just wanted to show what jack welch's response was, it was a tweeted response that got picked up in the news where he basically said that the u.s. bureau of labor statistics apparently in conjunction with the chicago machine, right, the chicago guys will do anything. you can't debate, so you change the numbers. that's the idea, that that's what happened here, that these numbers aren't real. >> i was astonished when i first heard that, considering he used to be the head of this whole network and everyone -- >> shhh. >> that's amazing. the other thing is, that these jobs numbers, they destroy their big talking point of the republicans over the last eight, nine months that unemployment has not been below 8%.
it's also falling into another one of their talking olympians, that hispanic unemployment is above 10%. now it's below, 9.8%. >> this was not good 7.8 but all of the subcategories were falling. >> in contrast to what mitt romney was saying on the clip, where people have left the job market, that is so not true. there are 418,000 people who have entered the job market. you can't say the numbers are falling because people are quitting. >> the question is what is romney going to say for the next month of the election? i mean, his entire message has been obama isn't working. that is the tag line of his campaign. well, people are working. clearly it's not enough. but the central tenent of his campaign has been proving false. there's a weird distance between the news and what romney is saying. he's saying, things suck, okay, if you don't realize it, you're an idiot. i don't think that will square well, not only with voters but with the governors in all these states where romney is
campaigning. i think he has a hard time the next month making his case. >> i almost felt bad for romney. he had finally gotten it back on message, jobs are the message. he kept bringing it back to jobs are my priority and then the very next day, apparently, it turns out, jobs were the president's priority. >> there are a couple of things here that i think are important to lift up. one is that i completely agree, that mitt romney was back on message. he had the problem of not articulating exactly how he was going to create these jobs which is a real weakness for him. he has to do a better job in the next month of articulating that. the second point, as good as these numbers are for obama, they are, we have to remember that in 2001, the unemployment rate was 10%. they have been coming down for a long time. what the republicans have been effective at doing is actually arguing against recovery, despite the fact there have been indications for the past two years. what obama has to do better is
do something to acknowledge the fact that people who are still hurting are people who are re-entering the job market and part-time jobs, 582,000 of those jobs particularly when they re-adjusted for the previous months were part-time jobs. >> this is the point i want us to come back on. i also know there's a way we could have been at 6%. making that claim for the value of government stimulus. so as soon as we come back we'll talk more about how to push this number down. i got more to say about the debate, too. stay around. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance.
responsibility. what's your policy? fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes. this is going to give you a head start on your dinner. that seems easier [ female announcer ] new progresso recipe starters. five delicious cooking sauces you combine with fresh ingredients to make amazing home-cooked meals. to make amazing online outfit piccolo headphones buy now broadway show megapixels place to sleep little roadster war and peace deep sea diving ninja app hipster glasses 5% cash back sign up to get 5% everywhere online through december. only from discover.
or get the yard ready for cool an energy weather?n to size? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, owens corning ecotouch attik insulation is only $11.87 a roll. and get 3 years interest-free financing on tempur-pedic. but hurry, sleep train's inventory clearance sale ends columbus day. ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
to maybe take it back. did you really mean to call barack obama, the president of the united states, lazy? >> yes. i think it -- i think you saw him admit it the night before when he delivered the pizzas. he said, they're making me do this work. he didn't want to prepare for this debate. he's lazy and disengaged. >> wow. that was former new hampshire governor john sununu with his take on the debate. on the one hand there was a sense of a desire to see more fire from president obama on that day but the fact that the language on thursday was we're going to be so far, you know, gone that we'll call the president a lazy delivery. pizza delivery guy, the black president, a lazy pizza delivery guy. this is important when we talk about george will's piece. how many american presidents have we called lazy? george bush took more vacations, i think than any president in
modern times. nobody called him lazy. and that's such a stereotype for black people, my hackles went way up. >> my colleague andrea mitchell was like, maybe you'd like to take that back. maybe you didn't realize what you just said. >> one of the things that really frustrated me about this debate is that the president did not talk about the incredible portfolio of economic successes he has had. we refuse to mention any of them, forgetting about the jobs numbers for now. there's been an auto industry that saved, that has men a million more jobs. we've seen auto sales go up virtually every month he's been in office. we have in the energy sphere we have domestic production that up 1.5 million barrels a year. that's the first time that's happened in 30 years. we have the jobs numbers we know about, the stock market is at 13,000. the dow is at 13,600. if rich people have something to
complain about, it's certainly not their portfolios. even jack welch, his stock is at 23. when we started this whole thing, it was 9 bucks. his shareholders aren't complaining about what the president's done. he has a tremendous amount of things he can call upon and talk about that he's done right. he refuses to talk about any of them. i wonder why. >> yes. >> i think the president really needed to push back on this idea, that there isn't a role for the government to play in the economy. even the idea that government can't create jobs. we have lost 656,000 public sector jobs since the recession began. the government could have saved those jobs. not only that, obama has a plan right now that moody's said would create 2 million more jobs. it would lower the unemployment rate by 1% if we saved those public sector jobs and passed another job bill, the unemployment rate would be 6% right now. >> right. >> it's not a fantasy. we know what would work and it's being blocked because number one the president and his team were afraid to talk about it between
the span when the stimulus passed before he introduced his jobs bill in september of 011. republicans decided they weren't going to do anything. they've been opposed to job creation and mitt romney doesn't have a jobs plan. i couldn't believe the president didn't say not only do you not have a jobs plan but economists say your ideas would make the economy right. he has ideas that would make the economy work. >> this is the moment when jim lehrer said, tell me your vision of government. i wanted the narrative of, look, i have done a great job, here's my accomplishments. but you know what, if i had been given the ability to do more on stimulus, if we could have pushed harder, then in fact we'd be in an even better place rather than, as a president, he brought up the deficit first. >> it was frustrating that he did not mention any of the tremendous obstructionism that he has faced, especially when mitt romney was talking about when i was in massachusetts, when i was governor. i so wish the president had just looked at him and said you have not been president. you have plot been where i have
been. that's small potatoes to what i am doing. >> although maybe he can't. i will say, you know, as i was watching, i kept going back and forth. maybe he can't say you know what, you guys block me. part of what he's doing in a presidential debate is to demonstrate -- is being presidential. >> remember that one of romney's talking points in his own favor was that he was the republican governor of massachusetts. >> all of a sudden. >> to walk across the aisle. for obama to say i couldn't, i couldn't make it work. but here's -- i think i agree with that point. one of the things that was so frustrating, though, he could have said, you know, if you remember when his inauguration speech, his inauguration speech i thought he did some brilliant framing. his framing was this isn't about big government and it's not about small government. it's about smart government. and he could have picked up that same frame and pulled it into this debate for his articulation of his vision for both
government, which is make it smart. because romney got points on that. he said i would cut the stupid government programs. >> right, right. >> he's like, me, too. i will invest in the smart government programs, the ones as ari mentioned that will put people back to work. >> along with that, what i thought was so missing from their whole exchange was he had many opportunities to bring in some of romney's fews that are quite extreme. whether you talk about immigration or women's health, gay and lesbian rights. he let those go by. he gave romney in a sense another opportunity to reframe himself yet again. it's difficult to keep up with it. he's presenting new ideas and going back to old ones. >> it's true i kept thinking to myself, the biggest danger was that people may have walked away thinking mitt romney's not that scary. i'm thinking only big bird was like, no, he is scary! scary, scary, mitt romney! i'm sorry, big bird and i have been spending a the love time together. i want to also point out for all of the look at this moment, this
7.8 and the debate, we are headed towards a fiscal cliff, right? we are moving quickly toward the circumstance where this president, either at the newly re-electioned president or the lame duck president is going to face this congress. either with a majority that's going out, on january 1 we hit the fiscal cliff. dan, talk to me about why we should be thinking about that as well. >> what happens when we get sequestration, there's going to be cuts that nobody wants, big cuts, they'll be obviously an expiration of the bush tax cuts. so we will get a tax increase for everybody, from the middle class on up. we'll also get sequestration. in many ways some of the democrats have argued this might be the kind of nuclear option way to finally get some sort of agreement and get the republicans to move a little bit and get a little compromise in terms of getting at least a little bit of tax increase on the revenue side from them. i'm not so sure that's going to happen.
if something like this does happen, if it comes off, we will see without a question a repeat of the recession or a small one. we will see gdp instead of being around 2% go to negative 2%, we will have serious problems. >> there are real consequences. >> real consequences. >> paul wrote a good column saying this election is turning into a referendum on the social safety net. do we want to reserve programs like medicare, medicaid and social security or do we want to destroy them? if obama gets re-elected and then turns around and first thing he does in the lame duck is cut those programs, weaken those programs there will be a lot of obama supporters who i believe are rightfully angry. >> at this moment, what we can say, obama supporters are thrilled with this president. the campaign announced that in september, it raised a record $181 million. and they seem to be thrilled in part because if this is a referendum on the social safety net, at the moment, the obama
administration is saying we are the folks who are going to save it. up next, we'll talk more about this issue. specifically about how one simple dream could jump start the economy. so anyway, i've been to a lot of places. you know, i've helped a lot of people save a lot of money. but today...( sfx: loud noise of large metal object hitting the ground) things have been a little strange. (sfx: sound of piano smashing) roadrunner: meep meep. meep meep? (sfx: loud thud sound) what a strange place. geico®. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. much has been made this week of the candidate's job creating plans or lack thereof. mr. romney says his plans will produce 12 million new jobs. his math is fuzzy at best, i have one way he could get part of the way to the goal. pass the dream act on day one. a new study shows that legalizing the 2.1 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the united states since they were children would generate 1.4 million jobs and add a whopping $329 billion to
the economy by 2030. raul, i love this report by the center for american progress on the dreamers because it is the definitive point that is consumers who are job creators, not the 1% that are the job creators. if these folks become legalized citizens, they can go to college. they will spend more money. that creates jobs. >> these are people who are here. if the dream act passes, everyone benefits. they are contributing more. what gets lost, i think, so much in the immigration debate, this whole idea which is so basic in economics is that, you know, economics is not a zero sum game. if one person gets a job, they're not taking it from someone else. if we bring in all these people to the economy, we're growing the economy. it's a net benefit for everyone. what i love about this study,
the immigration restriction, the andy immigration crowd, they like to point, get the statistics for a specific day. look a snapshot in time and say this is how much the undocumented are costing us. this is what the illegal immigrants cost us. but that's not accurate. this study shows trajectory over time. it's an investment that pays off by investing in these young people. that's why i think this study is terrific. >> these are people who are americans. >> that's right. these are people who have been here since they were babies to young children. this is the only country they've known. they are fully aculturated here and have been, as raul says, contributing already in multiple ways to the country and are part of the country's future. i think is part of what we lose when we look at the change in demographics of the country, the fastest growing demographic in this country are young people. already, half of all young people under 18 are not white. >> right. those young people of color, paying in is what makes social
security solvent, makes medicare solvent. >> exactly. this is one of the things we're losing, what we need to have a conversation about in this country is who are we. this has really become a wedge issue. right? >> right. >> because we're really not talking about undocumented immigration. we're really talking about latinos. what we're really saying is we're afraid of all the latinos coming in and taking our -- that's the wedge who oppose comprehensive immigration reform have been using. we should be afraid of these people, these people mean latinos. and that actually also threatens who he are as a country. there's lots of language about not just taking our jobs. >> taking our identity. >> and what we're missing with the dream act, this is us. these are people who have been with us. >> right. >> we're here! >> we're already here. >> he's really on the wrong side of history here. you look as i mention the demographic changes, take north carolina for example, in north carolina, the black and hispanic
electorate grew. the while share of the electorate fell by 2.5%. the country is on a trajectory and it's not moving backward. i know we'll talk about voter suppression later in the hour. this is the gop's only answer to demographic change. they back policies like the dream act or back voter suppression laws. there's no in between. you're for the changing demographics or you're not. >> you think you can win that group via policy. it feels to me the dream act policy, it gets us focused on as we talk about all these numbers what does it mean for actual people? i'll give you the last word on this. that fiscal clip is looking to us like is that sequestration cn 1.4 million jobs. >> whether it's in the business world or personal world, the amount of money you generate by having these people as raul says, start to pay taxes. it's an enormous boone to this economy to get these people
start putting into the government what they are getting out of it. >> it makes all the difference. >> yes. >> it's a good transition on this. in all the news this week, you may have lost what happened on monday when columnist george will said that president obama is likely to be re-elected because america is unwilling to fire its first black president? my dear george letter is next. [ scratching ] you're not using too much are you, hon? ♪ nope. [ female announcer ] charmin ultra soft is so soft you'll have to remind your family they can use less. charmin ultra soft is made with extra cushions that are soft and more absorbent. plus you can use four times less versus the leading value brand. don't worry, there's plenty left for you dad.
share everything by turning your smartphone into a mobile hotspot for up to 8 wifi-enabled devices at no extra charge. like the new droid razr m by motorola only $99.99. every now and then i like to push back from the big panel and give some people individualized attention. sometimes the best way to make your point is with a personalized touch leak a letter. so george will, this one's for you. dear george. it's me, melissa. on monday your column made a case for rejecting president barack obama's re-election bid. it was based on the tough economic realities and questioned whether mitt romney could turn this contest around. let's be clear. i disagree with your assessment
of the obama administration but the first part of your argument is reasonable, based in impeerics. you convincingly demonstrate that americans have had a tough time fiscally in the past four years. i might disagree about the causal relationships about the economic factors you site and the obama administration but i don't argue with your data which means i hope you won't quibble with the new data released just yesterday showing unemployment fell to 7.8% and offering upward recessi revisions of job growth. here's the point, george, after a reasonable start, you went off the rails by writing this, obama's administration is in shambles. yet he is prospering politically. this may not, however, entirely be evidence of the irrationalcy of the electorate, something more benign may be at work. interesting word choice, benign. what you really mean is sinister. you suspect something is amiss even after the president's meager performance in wednesday's debate, he still
enjoys a 46% to 44% lead over challenger mitt romney. you see, george, i don't think it's all that much of a paradox. it could be that democrats have effectively linked romney with candidates, elected officials and policies that represent the extreme anti-reproductive rights initiatives in the republican party. that big old gender gap could be because of transvaginal mcdonald, and no pills santorum. or george perhaps it's that mr. romney those a running mate that advocating transforming medicare in a voucher system. that might have caused reliably conservative seniors to rekrr their willingness to support the president. and george, it could be that until wednesday night, mitt romney had run a breathtakingly uninspiring campaign, pock marked with gaffes and inconsistencies and evasion. but, no, george, you took none of this into account. instead you wrote that the president's lead is solid because -- i'm not sure if
anyone else has noticed this, because the president is black. you say the nation which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure, thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him seems reluctant to give up on the first african-american president. right. because we all know that black men hold an unfair advantage in the labor market. you can see the evidence of it all around you. after decades of racial goodwill, shown to black workers as a result of the unfairly imposed guilt trip by radical race card playing media types like me, black workers now have an unemployment rate of 13.4%. right. racial guilt, that's it. well, here's the deal, george. i hereby give you permission to set down the white man's burden. if you don't want to vote for the president, don't! plenty of other voters seem to have found actual reasons to support him.
sincerely, melissa. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again.
according to george will, the reason why president obama is doing so well in the polls isn't because of his successes with saving the auto industry, getting health care passed or slowly but surely getting the economy on track. president obama is doing well with the american voter because they don't want to fire the black guy. in a nation where race has been narrowly constructed by society, could there possibly be any truth to will's argument that guilt over firing the first black president is what has him ahead in the polls? back with me are cnbc's dan dicker, mya wiley, raul reyes and the nation's ari burman. all right. so of -- >> i want to -- >> let's admit maybe there's four people voting for the president because of racial guilt. i want to see the ledger between those who are voting for him as
opposed to those who refuse to vote for him because he's an african-american. >> the complicated thing about this, so much of how race animosity is expressed right now is implicit by us, meaning people who don't consciously think of themselves as racist, who actually believe in equality and equal opportunity, believe that the civil rights movement was a good thing. and actually don't recognize that part of what's happening subconsciously is that the stereotypes about people who are black -- lazy black president -- even right thinking people respond not knowing they're responding to them. when you have a right who is playing to the stereotypes, part of what we've seen in the election cycle both in 2008 and now, what you see is people being influenced by that. so the birther, the whole
berther berth er -- birth certificate thing, she's in i'm in fourth grade and i know hawaii's state. >> right. i so appreciate you point out it's complex, because it is. on the one hand i think it's patently false if the president is re-elected it will be because of racial advantage. that's affirmative action, ill-gotten gains, narrative. but having a black president is complicated for americans. >> absolutely. >> you point out the implicit attitude. i encourage everybody to go to the implicit attitudes test. even people of color hold implicit stereotypes and bias. on the other hand it can be exciting to see -- >> yes. >> for me, watching the first family as an african-american family in this position in the white house, there's sort of a, wow, look at that happening. >> it's actually happening. >> it's extraordinary to live to see. >> even inauguration day was so exciting for people, just to see this was happening. to me, i mean, i agree with you. everything george will is saying here is so ridiculous.
you really have to be ensconced in your bubble of privilege as a member of the elite to look at someone who is a minority and assume he has it so easy because he's black. this reminds me of when mitt romney was saying if only i had been mexican, this thing would have been a snap. >> because we had so many mexican presidents. >> but what's so troubling is that george f. will, he's not some fringe person. >> no. >> he's not some -- >> that's right. >> he is an established mainstream very well respected columnist with a long career. >> yep. >> he has an audience, he has a following and he's disseminated his opinions. he believes this. >> melissa, what's so shocking to me is in 2012 how explicit republicans are being in playing the race card. i mean, it's just shocking what they're saying. you look again at the voting stuff. i mean, in south carolina, the author of the voter i.d. bill got an e-mail after it passed from a supporter saying that if you offered blacks voter i.d. it would be like bees going to a
watermel watermelon. you know what the supporter wrote back to him? amen. >> thanks for supporting. >> you have the head of the republican party in columbus, ohio, saying we shouldn't contort the voting process to accommodate african-americans. so this isn't racial coding anymore. this is just racial. >> it's funny, because it happens at the same time that something else exciting happens, that is that americans don't like being called racist, right? the fact that president george w. bush said the worst moment of his presidency was when kanye west suggested that he was racist, there's a part of me that likes that. i like the idea that people find racism bad. and they don't want to be associated with it. right? on the one hand that is progress. there was much of american history where people were like, yep, i'm a racist. that's happening at the same time we get this narrative. >> that's the importance of having the conversation about race. the complexity is that we've made so much progress in this country, that it isn't
acceptable to be racist. and that as a result, so many people aren't consciously racist. right? and at the same time, because we have our first black president, it's also brought up some of the overt stuff. so like post-2008, after obama's elected, white supremacist websites started crashing because of the increased traffic to white supremacist sites. that's over at racism. at the same time, the danger in not talking about race is that for the majority of americans who are right thinking, who care about fairness, who believe that the civil rights movement was a good thing and that we as a country should be proud that we're one of the few industrialized nations that has achieved someone from a disadvantaged group becoming the president of our country, that those people are still susceptible to the manipulation of those latinos are taking our jobs. >> yes. >> to those black folk are on
the dole, taking money and not paying into the system. >> we're going to stay on exactly this topic when we come back. it was funny that george will in his column, he was talking about the good moment. he was talking about coach robinson of the cleveland indians. he repeatedly was talking about this black coach of the indians and it was like it didn't -- he didn't really notice that like the smiling indian -- >> that's right. >> yes. i wanted to be like, you're missing it, my friend. >> right. coming up, more on this question about race talk. and specifically was there any race talk going on on wednesday night? did president obama risk being labeled an angry black man if he had attacked the way so many on the left wanted him to. within we come back. [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance?
try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align. align naturally helps maintain digestive balance. ♪ ooh, baby, can i do for you today? ♪ try align today. with the parents and the cute little baby triplets... well wait until your triplets move back home after college. we were enjoying our empty nest. and now it's just a nest full of laundry. lucky underwear. we were going through so much of that bargain detergent... and the clothes didn't look as good. but since we switched to tide, we use much less. their clothes are looking much more...uh... what's the word? clean? employable. [ female announcer ] one cap of tide gives you more cleaning power than 6 caps of the bargain brand. [ mom ] that's my tide, what's yours?
supporters were up in arms. it does beg the question if president obama were to go on the defensive or on the offensive to mitt romney, how would that be perceived? would he have been thought of as the tough incumbent fighting back or thought of as the angry black man? this has come up as a narrative in part because on monday, before the debate, you had tucker carlson dropping this 2007 hampton speech as though it were prefacing the possibility of the president behaving that way so they could link it. let's take a look at what showed up on monday. >> when hurricane andrew struck expect you to come up with the, here's the money to rebuild. we're not going to wait for you
to scratch it together. because you're part of the american family. what's happening down in new orleans? where's your dollar? where's your stafford act money? makes no sense. tells me the bullet hasn't been taken out. >> so there's the president doing what so many of us, as african-americans do, he's code switching. he's speaking to an mask american audience, he has the fire. just two days before the debate this dropped and the narrative is somehow the president's an angry black man. is that part of what we saw him pull back on wednesday? >> i don't think he had to attack mitt romney in order to make a good case for himself during this debate. he had so muches positive that he could talk about and he refused to do it. i -- i really -- one of the things that really, the most frustrating moment for me was when he talked about killing ben lad den, he talked about it in a context of a bipartisan kind of
agreement with republicans that he was, no, no -- >> you did. >> no, i killed bin laden and you saw the jobs report how great that is and, by the way, i killed ben laden. if there's one thing that everybody across the aisle can feel about, i killed ben laden. >> i killed ben laden and you want to kill big bird. >> that's not an angry black man. that's talking about the accomplishments that you had and not trying to attack anybody anywhere. >> i still wonder why -- i really question why is the whole idea of the code switching such a negative because, listen, i can tell you anyone who is latino, hispanic-american, when you're in a bilingual, we do it. and so do southern people and people from texas to it when they're with people from texas. anyone who has a subgroup or culture -- >> bill clinton was the king, skoed switch in a talk, right? >> right. >> why is that such a negative?
i do agree to a certain extent the president had to be -- he is confined and constrained to a certain extent that he the k. not get angry, he cannot have the flash of irritation because it will be replayed endlessly. given, that's a given. but still, you know, he could have been more present. but why is the whole notion of code switching so wrong? >> well, so this is -- this is -- art and i were speculating on this in the green room, which is that, one, i think that probably this whole speculation, i have no facts to go on. >> it's new. here we go. >> i'm very comfortable with that. >> so -- but the point is, i guess that what the campaign was saying is, you're ahead, your job is to look presidential. so, don't go on the attack. you're winning. be presidential. and that part of what that is can also play as don't be the angry black man but i suspect they were thinking less about that and thinking more about, you know, use your advantage and be -- and demonstrate that you
are still the president as he has said in the past. >> i want to go back to tucker carlson because one of the things that conservatives say was damning about what video is that obama thanked reverend wright. he generousry thanked reverend wright in a speech that was already covered by tucker carlson back in 2007 when it came out. but the question is, what is the argument here, that americans don't know about reverend wright? >> yeah. >> i mean, come on. this is the best the gop has right now? i think it's a diagnostic failure. i think it's saying, okay, well, if only obama was vetted in 2008 then he wouldn't have been elected. obama was vetted in 2008. he was vetted extensively. that clip played for months. americans decided it wasn't the most important issue. that the economy, that health care, that a lot of there things mattered more. like in 201, a lot of things mattered a whole lot more than reverend wright. it's not going to move swing voters at all. >> also in a certain way it's a
triumph of -- as much as i'm irritated by these sort of pockets of racialized discourse that emerge, i think there's -- there's something triumph not final, not now we're in a post-racial america but something triumph about the idea that this president in 2008 was able to suggest to the american people these other things matter more than any particular negative association you have around race. >> but remember how he did that. this is one of the things i think is too often forgotten. he did it by talking about race. the way he actually got out of the reverend wright problem that he had was he actually, in philadelphia, delivered a speech on race in america and said, we have to have this discussion. and one of the things that he demonstrated is that you can be the black leader who talks about race if you talk about it well. and i think one of the disappointments i have is that i think obama could have done more of that both as a president and even as a candidate because he's demonstrated his ability to call us to a higher conversation.
>> one thing that certainly happens is there's a lot of race talk that occurs around the president. >> correct. >> who knows, maybe if there is a second term, i accidentally just said there was one last week, but if there is a zer second term maybe we'll see more of that. dan, i really appreciate you being here and chatting with us. the rest are back for more. coming up, one small win in pennsylvania but the struggle continues. this week in voter suppression is next. or get the yard ready for cool an energy weather?n to size? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, owens corning ecotouch attik insulation is only $11.87 a roll.
[ "human" by the human league playing ] humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. at this point in the show it's time for a little something we like to call "this week in voter suppression"! this week in voter suppression, good news, actually. put another "w" on the board for voting rights because pennsylvania common wealth court judge robert simpson ruled
tuesday that pennsylvania ans do not have to show id in order to vote on election day. judge simpson found the state had not done enough to ensure everyone had equal access to a voter id or to convince him no one would be disenfranchise bid the law. the pennsylvania decision is one of the recent voting right victorys a kroisz the country. just yesterday a three-judge panel in ohio hinted a win to president obama's campaign by siding with the campaign's lawsuit to restore early voting for all ohio voters on the weekend before election day. according to the brennan center for justice, restrictive voting laws have been blocked or weakened by ten courts nationwide and one has been blocked by the department of justice. laws in to two states were repealed result of push back from voters. but that still leaves 16 new voting restrictions and two executive actions in 13 states that will be in effect on election day. with me are mat siegel, president of ourtime.org, a
student voegs for voter empowerment, civil rights attorney and nbc latinos reyes and attorney nation's ari. ari, what just happened to pennsylvania pennsylvania? >> sure, the judge didn't block the law but basically said it's optional that you can ask people for id but people don't have to show it. so, therefore, you don't need government issued id to be able to vote in november, which is a good thing for voting rights. it's a confusing solution because the judge should have just said -- and i believe he should have said this a long time ago, there should be an injunction against the law because a lot of registered voters don't have ids. we know that because of the math that i have discussed on this show before. >> is allowing people to ask for it is that a possible intimidation tactic? >> it could be a possible intimidation tactic. people are raising concerns about racial profiling at the polls right now because you could have situations about people asking for id when they
need it when in fact, they don't need it. people show up if they think they need an id that they don't need but that they have. there are confusing things that occur because of this law. that said, it's better that it's optional than mandatory. i mean, this is still something of a punt by the court but at least it creates some level of certainty that didn't exist before on november 6th. >> your point than even just the level of confusion and, you know, obviously we're doing "this week in voter suppression," this week, following it. even for us, every week we have to go back and say, what is going on in pennsylvania again? when you look at vulnerable population, matt, the group you've been particularly interested in is a college student. there's a dorm room edition of this week in voter suppression around these kind of confusing law changes. >> correct. here's what's happening. partisan election officials or state representatives are going in saying, dorm rooms, do not
constitute proper residency. or if you want to vote where you attend school, which you have a supreme court upheld right to do since 1979 in a case called simm verse the u.s., you have to registernlgister your vehicle w costs money, $10 to $50, depending on the county you live in, and declare that you are a permanent resident of the state. here's the larger issue with that. one, college students care about their communities. oftentimes they want to vote where they attend school and they give tremendous community service. i volunteered. went to school in ohio. i wanted to play a part in doing local tutoring, et cetera. that made me a part of my community. secondly, we benefit local businesses in community. we create jobs. and thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the u.s. census counts for student populations. so if you are in ohio state, the
50,000 people who go to ohio state who are students there nine months of the year, the community is getting federal and statewide dollars for that money. so they are reaping the benefits of students going there, yet they're saying that they're infiltrating infiltrating infiltrating or diluting votes. it's nonsense. >> we're talking about the top of the ballot. it's one thing if you're talking about the school board race or city council race. when you're talking about the top of the ballot, the presidency, then the idea that there's a dilution of american citizens voting for the american president is only because we have this archaic system of the electoral college, right, which changes state by state, the value of your vote. the real issue is students in swing votes. >> i would say local elections bh matter because i know i voted in local elections when i was in school. i know many people who get to know they certainly campaign on college campuses and tack about what they're going to do for the
local community. this is an issue that we see time and time again. it's about people feeling students do not belong but students are a huge asset for the ways i just mentioned and, above all in new hampshire, the state speaker of the house was talking about the fact that the student population there does not belong and that they were going to pay -- not pay taxes and that they were going to help take people who lived in the state of new hampshire and drowned out their voice. >> it want to ask you one more question on the dorm room edition. you talked about the permanent residency piece. doesn't that have truetician repper discussions. if you declare yourself a permanent resident of a state where you're attending the state university and you were an out of state student paying out of state tuition, there are rules about just being able to declare oneself a permanent resident of the state. >> there's one person in new
hampshire who actually wanted to vote where he attended school at dartmou dartmouth. he lost it. there are all kinds of repercussions. there are hundreds of some of which are archaic or antiquated. there are issues with not only losing scholarships but potential health care ramifications and things with parents and their ability to file you as dependents on their tax forms. we saw confusion about that in 2008 in virginia tech when students were told, don't vote where you go to college because it's going to compromise your parents' ability to file you as a dependent. and then all of these parents were contacting their kids and saying, don't you dare vote while you're in school. >> i need you for my write-off. that's right. >> that was false. >> that was false. >> part of it, it feels to me part of what's happening here with voter suppression is massive misinformation that makes it tougher and tougher for students who have a million
other things to worry about, for the elderly, for people with the fewest resources to figure out how to do their -- have their basic right. >> that's like the flip side of voter suppression. we were speaking about earlier, voter confusion. if you're a member, marginal population, someone who is very focused on your day-to-day economic needs, dwrount have time to pay attention to all of these court rulings and whether or not all of this information is up to date. it's hard to follow even, you know, for us, we're very focused on all of this news. i think, also, for the younger voter, especially with this generation, they see such a disconnect in terms of their needs being met. senior citizen, seniors today are a very important group of politics because they vote and they participant. >> and they get it. they get how the government impacts them. >> but for the young people it's there but it's not being extended to them and that's why it's easy for politicians to consistently cut educational programs and pell grants. they can cut those without
consequences. more and more with the younger generation, they're digital. we need online registration. >> well said, by the way, in the state of california, many state legislators were saying that the reason they cut higher education for the uc system first is they figured there was the least amount of political consequence for them in doing so because young people don't vote. the case that we're making to people is not just vote because of the historical importance or because of the necessity as american citizens, but money equates to vote because they allocate money and resources on the basis of how groups turn out and that's critical. >> if they think they can cut you without consequence, they will. >> they will. >> part of the sin nichl here, too, is the youth vote was a critical vote in the 2008 elections. to this point of who is most impacted, both the people who have been getting much, much more engaged in our electoral process. these are first -- many times they're first-time voters. and what we're doing is essentially saying, and by the
way, you know, we're not really that interested in you participating. >> stay out. >> professor kathy from the university of chicago, you know, put out this ground breaking study that showed this is 700,000 youth of color potentially when we talked about demographics earlier. the fastest growing demographic. the country we're literally saying to our citizens of color, you know, we're not so much interested in you participating, either. >> they said explicitly that students are too liberal to vote. >> new hampshire. >> in new hampshire. they said the speaker of the, how i believe, said it that students are too liberal to be able to vote. >> they have to inform proper opinion. >> they haven't matured properly. the larger issue here is why are we're rekting all of these unnecessary hurdles. why in texas can you vote with a handgun permit but not a student id. there's no voter fraud to justify it. why do you have to have a car registered in a state?
that's not a requirement of citizenship, having your car registered. we're redefining what it means to be a citizen and participating in the electoral process. >> when we come back i'm going to bring in another gst because there was an incredible letter asking exactly those questions this week. we're bog to talk with congressman elijah cummings next. we're bog to talk with congressman elijah cummings next. with my friends, we'll do almost anything. out for drinks, eats. i have very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free keeps the seeds from getting up underneath. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. a lot of things going on in my life and the last thing i want to be thinking about is my dentures. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. challenge the need for such heavy measures with olay. regenerist micro-sculpting serum
for firmer skin in 5 days. pretty heavy lifting for such a lightweight. [ female announcer ] olay regenerist. by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. campbell's. when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common.
they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. ends columbus day. inventory clearance sale get 3 years interest-free financing on tempur-pedic. save 10%, 20%, even 35% on a huge selection of simmons and sealy clearance mattresses. even get free delivery! don't miss 3 years interest-free financing on tempur-pedic. the inventory clearance sale ends monday. superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed. ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
we've told you before about true the vote. the organization whose website claims to be about, squoet, equipping citizens to take a stand for free and fair elections. but their version of taking a stand equates to attempting to have hundreds of people removed from voter rolls. and dispatching true the vote voluntaries on election day to
challenge and intimidate voters at the polls. well, one member of congress has said, enough. in a letter to true the vote, founder catherine egglebreck, democratic representative elijah cummings is calling them out for illegitimate voter challenges. representative cummings writes, quote, an effort to challenge voter registrations by the thousands without any legitimate basis may be evidence of illegal voter supposed proegs. if these efforts are intentional, politically motivated and wide spread across multiple states, they could amount to criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights. representative elijah cummings is joining me now from baltimore, maryland. so nice to have you, congressman. >> it's good to be with you. >> so, i loved that letter. i have been spending time reading it and rereading it. tell me why this was the moment when you decided, okay, enough around true the vote.
>> first of all, i believe that voting is a fundamental right. it's not to be denied people who are eligible voters. any effort to deny that right, i consider to be criminal in some instances, as a matter of fact, it's very offensive. it's certainly unpatriotic. we have to do everything we can to address that the true the vote has a situation where they are literally challenging thousands upon thousands of legitimate voters. and claiming that they should not be on the voter rolls. they are contacting locally elected officials and the next thing you know, melissa, folks who have been voting for the last 30 years suddenly find a letter in their mailbox that says your vote is being challenged by some stranger. they don't we -- they don't know what the hell is going on. and the next thing you know, they've got to go through a lot of changes to prove that either they live where they live or that they are alive, all kinds
of things. it's incredible. but it's an effort -- it's wide side. true the vote claims that they are trying to clean up the voter rolls but i can tell you that even the ohio secretary of state who is a republican has said this is like the boy who cried wolf and he said it verges on illegitimate activity. >> yeah, i think for me, true the vote is even more upsetting than some of the legislative activity we've seen because it feels like a kind of voter vigilanteism. >> that's exactly what it is. and what they are trying to do -- and when we look at where they -- the people they target, they target people in trailer parks, minorities. people who would normally vote for democrats and students. i know you were just talking about students. students is a big target for them. and they will go in and they will challenge thousands of names of students trying to get them off of the local rolls. and, again, the head -- some
would say, well, cummings, you know, they're probably trying to do a nice democratic thing. well, that's not true. the head of the organization true the vote has made it clear. as she has stated that she wants a change in the warehouse, she wants somebody other than president in there. and so you would think that an organization that supposed to be about the business of true democracy in upholding our democracy would want -- would never talk about who they want. they would talk about making sure that the process is fair. >> congressman, i want to bring ari in on this because, ari, you've been doing so much reporting about this. when you saw the congressman's letter this week, did it feel like, okay, finally we've got the federal government in on this one? >> it's good in that people are following true the vote now and my colleague mock who has been on your show has done incredible work on this front. but congressman, i want to ask you, what can actually be done? i mean, what are you proposing in terms of either legislative
solutions a month before the election or in terms of what are you telling secretaries of states or governors in states to do to try to minimize voter confusion when it comes to true the vote? >> great question. basically what we're trying to do at this moment is bring attention to what true the vote is doing. and put true the vote on notice that we are watching them. we've asked them to give us documents as to what they -- what the basis of their challenges are. it is a little late right now, but i see this -- this is going to be a long range project. in other words, we're going to bring them in this week. the true the vote -- the president has already told us that they will cooperate with our investigation. and then we're going to see what we can find. now, if the findings are as i think they will be, we may have to look at our federal laws to see exactly how we might rein this kind of illegal -- what i think to be illegal conduct is. but, again, keep in mind, what
we are seeing is an attack on the voter. your discussion that you just had a few minutes ago, it seems as if there's an attack on certain voters and it's an effort to try to stop them from voting by any means necessary. this is a democracy. we go all over the world. we have our blood, sweat, and tears to create situations in other countries where people can vote freely and fairly. and here we are in this country, instead of expanding the right to vote, we seem to be trying to shrink the right to vote. this is our watch. we better be very careful that we don't do away with the very essence of our democracy that is is to vote. >> congressman, let me bring in maya wylie here. >> i appreciate your leadership on this and i'm wondering if you will speak a little bit more to the partisanship because one of the things that you're pointing up is the whole attack, the whole voter suppression attack has been under the theory that we have to be concerned about people pretending to be someone
they're not. right? that's what these voter id laws are about. by the way, we only started passing in 2006. these are brand new laws, right? >> yes. >> and what you're actually common straig demonstrating is, it continues and where we're really seeing it is outside of the voter in organizations, political parties, and candidates even who actually are doing much more fraudulent activity, i would argue. is that your sense? >> yes, that is my sense. but i want to go to -- to your point. the secretary of state of ohio talks about how -- over the past three or four presidential elections, you are talking about 12, 14, 16 years. that there has only been a handful of fraudulent type of voting that true the vote claims they are trying to address. so it appears that to me, that we have these folks have a
remedy, melissa, in search of a problem. >> right. >> the problem is not there. and i think it's so unfair. again, i emphasize, we have got to guard this right to vote. >> yeah. >> it is so important. and if they get away with this -- if you look at what just happened, the decision that you talked about in ohio and in pennsylvania, those are still -- they challenge those laws. >> yeah. >> but the fact is, is what would have happened if they didn't challenge them? what's the next step? are you going to say to seniors you can't vote because we worry if you're over 70 years old you may not be able to understand what's going on? >> right. >> where does it stop? >> right. >> every step, every one of these things undermines our democracy. >> congressman, i so appreciate you being with us today. especially appreciate your point that this is our watch. and we know that the last time that we had this kind of voter suppression, it took the activity of the people on the ground, it took the attorneys in the courtroom, but it also took ultimately the federal government through the congress coming in and saying, no, we
believe that america requires the ability of people to have access to the polls. i greatly appreciate you pointing out this time it is our watch. >> we're going to remain vigilant. >> thank you, congressman cummings, and ari berman. [ voice on phone ] up high! up high! [ laughs ] up high! up high! [ sighs ] [ chuckles ] yo, give it up, dude! up high... ok. up high... ok. high! up high!!! ok ok that's getting pretty old. don't you have any useful apps on that thing? who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ chuckles ] at quicken loans, our amazingly useful mortgage calculator app allows you to quickly calculate your mortgage payment based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone. this great tool answers your home loan questions
organizes your results, and lets you calculate with the confidence of a rocket scientist. you can even take notes and add photos of your favorite homes! it's the 21st century way to make your next home refinance or purchase easy. download it today from the app store or google play... the mortgage calculator by quicken loans... one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. ♪
wednesday night's heavy focus on the economy allowed president obama and governor romney to outline their differences on key issues. like tax policy, wall street regulation, and 34ed medicare. when it came time to discuss education, our two presidential candidates didn't sound very different from one another. their focus remained largely on initiatives like race to the top, fund for teachers, those are two important parts of the education discussion for sure, but today we're focus and a
third, as in third grade, which according to a study by professor of sociology donald hernandez at the city university of new york is the most important year in your education. why? because it's the year that you stop learning to read and start reading to learn. 3,975, that's how many students professor hernandez followed for 19 years, tracking their reading scores and economic status. of all the students surveyed, one-third struggled to read in third grade. and if they were among that third, they were four times, that's how much more likely students are not to graduate from high school on time than those who read proficiently in the third grade. 16% is the overall rate at which third grade students who are not reading proficiently by the end of the year, failed to graduate from high school on time. but money t matters, too. 22 percent of the students from the study who experienced
poverty, regardless of reading proficiency, did not complete high school on time. which is the same number for poor white students who did miss the reading proficiency mark. but if you're black or brown, 31% is how many poor african-american students who missed the third grade reading proficiency mark didn't graduate on time. 33% is how many poor latino students who failed to hit that third grade reading mark turned 19 without high school diplomas. but then there is this number. zero. zero is the gap between white and minority students when not living in poverty when it comes to graduation rates for third grade readers who hit their reading proficiency mark. what's at stake? well, it's known as matthew effect. as in the gospel of matthew. chapter 13, verse 12. that's next. a taste of what's h? check out the latest collection of snacks from lean cuisine.
some aerosols may just mix with them. can febreze really remove them? we asked real people what they thought. take a deep breath for me. describe the smell. it's very pleasant. fresh. some kind of flower maybe? remove the blindfold... awww, oh yuck! i didn't smell any of that! febreze air effects doesn't mix, it actually removes odors. [ laughs ] wow, that's incredible. just another way febreze helps you breathe happy.
a question for all of the adults watching. do you remember third grade? turns out that this third grade may not be your first memory that you have of pencil, books, and teachers' dirty looks, but it may be the most pivotal juncture in our lives. highlighting the recent study we broke down in the last segment our guest eddie murphy paul wrote in "time" magazine about the importance of 24ird grade, saying, quote, it's the year that students move from the learn to read, using their knowledge of the alphabet to learning to read. what's at stake is called the matthew effect after the newest thement verse matthew 13:12. whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. no, that's not a mitt romney campaign slogan, it simply means that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and not just in
terms of money. the matthew effect is real. matthew is true for book learning, too. can just one year so early in a child's life determine so much? joining me now to help answer that question and many more about this is the aforementioned annie murphy paul. she's backed up by matt siegel, president of ourtime.org and civil rights attorney maya riley. what should i as the parent of a fifth grader and take away, and maya the parent of a third grader, what should we take away from this piece telling us that third grade is the critical moment? >> the first thing to realize is that it's never too late to help a student who is struggling in school. it's just that third grade is a particularly important year to intervene, to make sure that students are reading at grade level. because as you mentioned, this is the year when students go from learning to read, learning to decode, learning to apply their knowledge of the alphabet,
to make sense of words on the page, to reading to learn, which means that they are reading these fact-filled books about the solar system, native americans, the civil war. they're learning from what they're reading. if at that point they haven't been able to make the leap to fast, fluent reading, they're not going to be amassing the knowledge, that background knowledge that their classmates are getting and they're not going to be learning new words from context. so it's going to become ever harder to read proficiently, to learn from what you're reading. that's the rich get richer idea. that the more you know, the more you can know. >> it is it's not just additive. it's not just like, oh, you can go back and pick up that step, it's all of these other steps lay on top of it. what i wanted to ask in part about that because i really went berserk reading all the reports last night and what that might mean, apparently in response to this, some folks are saying, therefore, if you don't hit that third grade proficiency mark, hold the kids back. keep them back another year.
is that the solution to this issue? >> right. these mandatory retention policies is there now and have passed now in arizona, in florida, in indiana, in oklahoma, and they're being considered in other states, as well, i don't think that's the answer. if a child going through third grade didn't learn how to read why would we think that doing the same thing over again would work for them? >> right. >> what needs to happen is the parent, the teacher needs to get together and perhaps a special reading specialist, need to get together, figure out why the child is struggling and develop an individualized plan to help them learn, that might involve tutoring or specialized strukds or maybe summer school. but just holding a kid back, especially with all we know about the social stigma that accompanies being held back is not the reasons. >> this is where the politics shows up. what that sounds like to me is if these are the critical years, when i look at teacher renumerati renumeration, the best paid teachers out to be the
kindergarten teachers, first and second sgrad teachers, the people with the smallest classrooms and the most flexibility. yet we know at this point preschool teachers basically make minimum wage in most places. how do we take this kind of knowledge and turn it into the education? >> it's an important question because policy vsz so shaped the educational opportunity that our kids have. and one of the things particularly for kids of color is this gap starts showing up at age 2. >> right. >> at age 2, there's a five-point gap in cognitive tests in terms of their performance. this is created by social conditions. this isn't about them being intelligent. this isn't about their capacity to learn. this is about having oh we you're much more likely to be born into a household where your mother is earning $17,000 a year, which is not enough to live on. working, therefore not reading to you, right? we know how important it is for parents to read to their children, particularly before they're ready. >> she, herself, may not have --
>> she, herself, may have some literacy issues. so you have this multiplicity of social condition. we also know that a lot of these kids are in high poverty schools. if you have economically integrated schools, you're much more likely higher levels achievement including for poor children than if you're economically isolated schools. so a lot of what this tells us is we need to invest in education. we need to think about the relationship between people's ability to have good child care and still work, right? we've not talked a lot about child care investments. we talked about the fiscal cliff earlier in the show. head start is going to be cut based on a sequester, that will impact 100,000 children. >> yep. >> 100,000. title i will be cut. that's going to be over a million children. >> the other draconian part of mandatory retention is the notion that applying a one size fits all strategy to education
does not work. $10,000 is the cost of third grade in some states that have mandatory retention. you said the definition of insanity is repeating itself over and over. >> right. >> why redo it? why not take that $10,000 and give it to a well qualified mentor or an after school teach whole can take thevilleized style or unique i'd you sin skras sis by which people learn and apply that more proactively and productively so that the student gops and whether they have to put additional time in afterwards. >> let's be clear. this is what happens in schools of privilege. >> of course. >> if you are a private school where you are paying a high level of tuition and your kid gets to third grade and there are challenges. man, they call in the reading specialist and they go and get the assessment. >> they do your homework for you. >> i only mooe meean it in the positive way. this kid in this school are not going to fail and we're going to bring the resources -- what's troubling as you
mentioned, especially in communities of color, i know that latino kids are much likely not to access pre-k, so as you said they start at a disadvantage. there's a shortage of teachers who work with. there's a shortage of bilingual ti teache teachers. in the ideal situation, i think the study does recommend this type of intervention. what happens in these much larger public schools? where we are communities maybe reluctant to fund those schools. >> speaking of reluctance, we're going to come back on this topic and when we come back we're going to talk about the reluctance to fund this guy. 8'2", full of feathers, bright yellow, and under attack. welcome aboard! [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ]
♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ [ wife ] a beached whale! lawn clippings! a mattress. a sausage link. mermaid. honey!? driftwood. come on, you gotta help us out here a little. [ male announcer ] febreze eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪ [ male announcer ] febreze. eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪
the most mem ran moment involved public television's role in that education. a reference to the bird that's more than eight feet tall. >> i'm sorry, jim, i made a stop the subud sid difficult to pbs. i like pbs. i love big bird. ache chully like you, too, but i'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from china to pay for it. >> say what? burton, the former host and executive producer of pbs' reading rainbow had this to say yesterday on cnn. >> i was outraged. i couldn't believe the man actually fixed his mouth to say that. >> why? >> attack on children, soledad. >> later on friday while campaigning in virginia the president piled on, too. >> when he was asked what he would actually do to cut spending and reduce the deficit, he -- his big example was to go after public television. for all you moms and kids out there, don't worry, somebody is
finally getting tough on big bird. rounding him up. elmo's got to watch out, too. governor romney plans to let wall street run wild again but he's going to bring down the hammer on sesame street. it makes perfect sense. >> the sesame workshop isn't part of pbs but that network does put the show on your tv. mitt romney is proposing to cut you and your kids off from pbs presumably to pay down our debt to china? hey, that's what he said. the government contribution to the corporation for public broadcasting this year amounts to $450 million. or what the pentagon spends in six hours. governor romney scapegoating educational public broadcasting for a talking point? look, for me, the report, what was stunning was that the reading gaps are closed in part when kids self select and read things that they themselves
like. and i'm just thinking for me, ce sesame street was all about in you stories and different kind of folks and part of what developed me as a kid to find stories that i loved and liked. is this an actual attack on this very thing we are looking at here? >> there's been tons of attacks. romney also wants to give the defense department $2 billion more than they've asked for and yet wants to cut not just big bird but is he taking on national education cuts, no. we are cutting education. we are cutting it. we're cutting it at a time when we know the class size, for example, so to get those individualized plans for kids e requires teachers to have fewer students in their classrooms. >> i'm not surprised he does this, though, because oftentimes republicans support innovative styles ofes of learning and bringing learning to the tv, to internet, to game theory is something they support because it cheapens the cost of learning
and it makes it more accessible to people. so cut such a successful american institution or to threat on the cut it compounds me in many ways. >> it speaks, again, we were speaking at earlier is that mitt romney is very removed from the mainstream because, you you know, big bird and elmo and all of those things are iconic and people grew up on it. for a lot of lower income families, that's your pre-k. watching cesesame street. >> you were putting it out earlier that kids not succeeding by third grade, it's a an cognitive individual problem they have or a family problem rather than, look, we could change that with, you know, dare i say it, stimulus, with actually redirecting what our strategies look like. do we know what works in terms of intervention? >> well, you know, melissa, that makes me think of a book that's gotten a lot of attention lately, a book called "how children succeed" and it's generated this talking about
grit, that all we need is grit. >> right. >> and perseverance and conversations s but grit is no good on its own without any kind of support or help from adults. another piece of the book talks about and paul tuft does a nuance job of talking about this. the way it's been interpreted, if you work hard enough, if you confront failure, you're going to come out on top. well, then our urban inner city schools should be producing geniuses all over the place. >> they may be, all right? living in new orleans part of what has been obscene to me about how this massive education restructuring has occurred is that we were producing certain kinds of genius, creative genius, musical genius, but none of that counts. none of that gets measured on an s.a.t. when was talk about kids with grit, my goodness, kids growing up in difficult circumstances may be using up all their grit just to get to school, much less
do it on a test. >> this is a critically important point you're making, melissa. it want to get person. i went to inner city public school through third grade. my mother had the resources to transfer me to private school. i was at the top of my class. i was in a middle class family, two parents with graduate degrees. my father, black man, ph.d. in organic chemistry from cornell university. i was reading ready when i went to kindergarten. i was not the gap. going into that school, because we like to blame parents. >> right. >> we like to say the problems are parents are not doing what they should do at home. my parents were reading to me from bank street schoolbookses. they were doing all the right things. i was two years behind grade level by third grade at the top of my class. that's not about parenting. that's not even about poverty anymore. that means if i'm a middle class student in a high poverty school, i am at a deficit and it has nothing to do with what my
family has given me or what they supported me with. their only escape route was to do something they didn't want to do was to put me in private, all white private school. while all my black counter parts whose mothers were on welfare had to stay in the neighborhood school. this is what we've instructed. this is a policy construction. and it is not about kids' ability to learn. >> we've kruted more of that, more opting out and more of leaving everybody else behind. more in just a moment. but first, it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex with it." >> enjoying this conversation. we'll get to this. the man who takes
. >> conspiracy theories abound. >> yes. >> i tried to debunk that earlier. i have two people. jared bernstein no way. it's really -- it's something. thank you. that's all i have to say. up next, narrowing the gap of the digital divide. . flavor, meet food. it's time for swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth in easy to use packets. mix it into skillet dishes, for an instant dose of... hell-o! [ female announcer ] get recipes at flavorboost.com.
for many of us it's easy to take internet access for granted. for more than 200 million of us smart phones are like limbs perpetually attacked. but for 19 million americans watching a favorite tv show on hulu, watching the latest information about traffic delays or doing research for a school project is impossible.
it's the digital divide between those with and those without access to the internet due to racial, socioeconomic and geographic disparity. just 41% of households with annual incomes below $30,000 have high-speed internet compared with 89% of households who make more than $75,000 annually. in 2010, president obama allotted $7.2 billion in funds under his stimulus package to equip america's immediate yeas with broadband internet. but for delores leonard, our fool soldier for today, is providing the people power to create wireless hubs in impoverished neighborhoods. she's going to be bridging the digital and achievement divide for her community, one of the poorest in detroit. the city once touted for its flourishing auto industry is now synonymous with decline. detroit suffers an unemployment rate of 19.6%, with 37.6% of the
population living below the poverty line. there are no libraries in delores's neighborhood. she tells us "our children have to take three buss to get to the library. they shouldn't have to do that. access is important. indeed, access is important. according to fcc, some 80% of fortune 500 companies like target, walmart, costco, require online job applications. so that is why it is important that delores teaches computer literacy classes at her local rec center. that's just the tip of the iceberg. delores has volume unteared her one-story brick house to be the epi center of an internet distribution method dubbed mesh. delores's chimney will hold a 3 foot long wireless device providing a wireless internet hub that allows for access
throughout the neighborhood. when she gets the word out about mesh she describes a network of the low-tech variety. she says i go through the ministers. that's the way i've learned over the years. the african-american church is very important within the african-american community and that is my entree. delores, a true teacher, says the internet can never be a substitute for books or for in-person education. but she knows that connectivity, as she puts it access, is essential to bringing change to her community. and her community is what delores is focused on. for constantly thinking of others first and for decking that pole to her chimney, delores leonard is our foot soldier of the week. that is our show for today. thank you to matt, annie, raul and mya for sticking around. thanks to you at home for watching. i'll see you tomorrow 10:00 a.m. eastern when we are going to look ahead to next week's vice-president debate. coming up" weekends with alex witt."
is an awesome place to be. introducing the all-new 2013 chevrolet malibu eco. ♪ sophisticated new styling, the fuel-saving intelligence of eassist, 37 mpg highway, and up to 580 highway miles on a single tank of gas. ♪ the all-new 2013 chevrolet malibu eco. ♪ it has everything to put you in the malibu state of mind no matter what state you live in. ♪